I was scouting around the East 20′s today when I noticed something in Madison Square Park that usually is not there: treehouses!
To a lot of you, these will come as old news. These were installed by Japanese artist Tadashi Kawamata in October 2008, plenty of time for New Yorkers to transition this from “wow, cool!” to “seen that, what else is new?”
For me, it was a pleasant surprise. I rarely have a reason to go to this area of town, especially when it gets cold, and I’m clearly very much out of the loop on the latest in park art installations. But that’s OK, because it allowed me to experience one of those rare and treasured “dawning revelation” moments… “Wait a minute…something’s different…”
According to the artist, the pieces are meant to represent how “private objects in public spaces change the meaning of both.” I think I get it – I was quite annoyed that there were no ladders allowing me to get inside and join the club. Typical.
According to one article, “to some, they may evoke childhood memories of hiding out in treehouses; to others, they may suggest flimsy shelters built by the homeless.” Hey, whatever convinces the Parks Department to let you build tree forts on city property is fine by me. I wish I had thought of it.
Anyone want to start a club? Only entry requirement is you have to be able to shimmy into the tree house. We’ll call it G.R.O.S.S., and we’ll have a secret handshake and a song and coded messages…